Schenkkan says that "leaders and ordinary citizens need to respond to the direct challenge to democracy by speaking up for its principles: diversity of opinion and identity, constraints on the will of the majority, and checks on executive power."
The report says that despite Russia’s continuing economic stagnation, Putin "seems tantalizingly close to his goal of a new division of Europe into Western and Russian spheres of influence."
"In our survey, we saw Ukraine continuing to make progress in 2016, but at the same time there are seriously troubling signs that an old guard resistant to building an accountable state could still defeat reforms," Schenkkan said. "What is needed is that Ukraine’s international supporters continue the 'tough love' approach of the last three years supporting local civil society."
"But it only gets harder from here," Schenkkan warned, adding that "the country’s government and political parties need to enforce accountability for corruption and they have to make difficult policy decisions on issues like minority representation and European integration."